Teesside Collective launches industrial carbon capture and storage vision for Tees Valley

Major energy intensive industrial plants located in Teesside in Tees Valley will today (Wednesday 21 January 2015) set out their vision of transforming the area into Europe’s first Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) equipped industrial zone.

At a launch event in the House of Commons, the cluster of leading North East employers will introduce their project name – Teesside Collective – and outline the initial positive findings of engineering work undertaken by Amec Foster Wheeler.

Teesside Collective has initial funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and is ahead of rival industrial areas elsewhere in the UK and on the Continent. It is seen by the CBI as “a shot in the arm to British industry’s long term future” and by Sir David King as “in the right place, at the right time, to get ahead of the curve”.

CCS is a group of proven technologies that can capture, transport and permanently store up to 90% of the CO₂ emissions produced by burning fossil fuels, preventing them from entering the atmosphere. To date, the focus in the UK has been on commercialising CCS for electricity generation.

Teesside Collective is an important departure. Its premise is that a range of industries would be able to capture their emissions, plug them into a shared pipeline network, and send them for permanent storage under the North Sea.

Four energy intensive Teesside firms are involved as ‘anchor projects’ – BOC, Lotte Chemical UK, SSI UK and GrowHow – all of whom face stiff competition internationally and the prospect of escalating carbon permit prices in the future. National Grid, Tees Valley Unlimited (the Local Enterprise Partnership) and NEPIC (North East Process Industry Cluster) are also on the project’s steering group.

CCS in Teesside would have far reaching benefits in terms of maintaining and growing the industrial base and workforce in the Tees Valley and the wider UK. It would also contribute to the significant cuts in emissions required to reduce UK carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

Stephen Catchpole, Managing Director of Tees Valley Unlimited said:

“The effect of a successful CCS network in Teesside would be a game changer for Tees Valley, the region and the UK economy.”

Dr Stan Higgins, CEO, North East Process Industry Cluster said:

“Industrial CCS is a win win. In our efforts to create a low carbon world we will also sustain the UK’s process industry; creating jobs, wealth and a location businesses will want to invest in.”

Sir David King, UK’s Special Representative for Climate Change said:

“CCS on industrial plant is going to be a critical part of the global effort to prevent serious climate change. Teesside is in the right place, at the right time, to get ahead of the curve, insulating itself from future carbon costs and putting the UK on the map as the go to place for clean industrial investment.”

Dianne Sharp, CBI North East Director said:

“As we move towards a low-carbon economy, the UK’s industrial sector has a crucial role to play by cutting its emissions and providing the materials for other sectors to reduce carbon.   A CCS network in Teesside is a critical step, giving a shot in the arm to British industry’s long-term future.”

Luke Warren, Chief Executive, CCS Association said:

“With 22 projects in operation or construction globally, CCS is a reality. Teesside Collective will place the UK at the forefront of industrial CCS development. This innovative project promises to deliver competitive industrial advantage, whilst also ensuring that the UK is well placed to secure a strong share of the global CCS market.”

Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership, has been awarded £1 million funding by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change to develop a business case for deploying industrial CCS in the Teesside cluster and to make recommendations for a funding mechanism. This will be complete by summer 2015.

Amec Foster Wheeler plc, Societe Générale and Pale Blue Dot have been appointed to support the development of this work. Amec Foster Wheeler has been undertaking engineering design and cost estimating for this project. Societe Générale will provide expert advice to ensure that the project is financially viable and competitive. Pale Blue Dot is providing expert CCS project development advice and building the business case.

Work is ongoing, but initial findings indicate the project is feasible. Retrofitting carbon capture technology to the four anchor projects’ different industrial processes – steel, ammonia, hydrogen and polyethylene terephthalate production – is operationally and technically feasible. Teesside is also assessed as being well located for the transportation of the carbon to permanent storage facilities under the Central or Southern North Sea.